M.T. Wroblewski reports:
"If you’re thinking about writing a letter to promote your business, take your effort the next small but crucial step by offering your customers or prospective customers an incentive to come see you. Perhaps they will drop by right away and make a purchase; perhaps they will come see you next week and spend money. Either way, you can make a simple promotional effort even more effective -- not to mention more cost[-]effective -- by offering your readers something tangible and enticing...Develop a strategy for your letter and a rationale for your promotional offer. This is information that you will not share with the public. Establish the products and services you wish to promote and decide which type of promotion -- a free, discounted or buy-one-get-one-free promotion -- you wish to launch. For example, let’s say you run a health and wellness clinic with myriad products, services and employees to promote. While your letter should mention most or all of them, you should focus on one in particular...With your 'hook' clearly in hand, you are now ready to write...Open your letter in a friendly, engaging style that gets right to the point of your promotional offer. Use dynamic and concrete language that inspires people to act...Steer clear of nebulous offers such as offering '10 percent off,' as it is impossible for your readers to know what they’re saving if they don’t know what the products cost...Segue to the newly hired dietician, explaining what she will add to your business and your customers’ health repertoire by detailing her background, the services she will provide and the hours she will be available for private consultations. Be sure to include a picture of the dietician so that you personalize her for your readers’ benefit...Move beyond your 'hook' to promote other professionals and programs your clinic offers...List and promote your other products and services in bullet-point form to make them easy to read. List the offerings in descending order of their perceived attraction or appeal. Be prepared to pare this list if your letter threatens to spill beyond one page...Provide a brief history of your business and your philosophy. Include a short testimonial from a satisfied customer, being sure to cite the person’s full name, and any other important elements of your business, such as your hours of operation. Exude pride in your business and explain what makes it special and different, but resist hyperbole...Remind your readers of the promotional offer and how you are eager to see them at your place of business...Place the key elements of the offer, such as the time and date, in [boldfaced] type so that they are prominent...Proofread and edit your letter for spelling and grammar before sending it...Track the success of your letter based on the response to your offer. Keep your customer database as current as possible by asking new customers for their full contact information and encouraging existing customers to alert you when they make changes. If you become known for enticing promotional offers, they will likely tell you first. Marketing professionals differ widely as to the proper interval between promotional letters and offers...Time your efforts based on the natural ebb and flow of your business, knowing that it’s far better to be ahead of the curve than to send a letter when you are in the throes of a full-fledged financial slowdown."